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Legal Immigration Family Equity, or the LIFE Act, enables certain individuals physically in the United States who would otherwise be ineligible apply for a green card because of the manner they entered the United States, employment without authorization in the United States, or failure to maintain lawful status since entry to the United States.

In order to qualify under the LIFE Act, you must be a beneficiary of a properly filed family based immigration petition), or a labor certification application (employment based immigration petition) filed between January 15, 1998 and April 30, 2001. In addition, you must have been physically present in the United States on December 21, 2000, and there must be a visa immediately available to you.

You may still be eligible under the LIFE Act if you have withdrawn the petition or have been denied or revoked depending on the reasons for the denial, withdrawal, or revocation as long as the petition was approvable when filed and the circumstances causing the withdrawal, denial, or revocation were beyond your control.

In addition, you may have been grandfathered even under the circumstances below:

  • Death of the petitioner;
  • Divorce with the petitioner;
  • Employer who filed the labor certification is no longer in business;
  • Petitioner or employer withdrew the petition or labor certification;
  • Petitioner or employer is unable to maintain the petition or labor certification.

As mentioned above, your eligibility under the LIFE Act depends on the reason for the final result. In any case, it must be circumstances that you had no control of, generally the ones listed above this paragraph.

If you are eligible under the LIFE Act, you must pay an additional $1,000 application fee and complete a supplemental form to adjust your status.

You may file an application for employment authorization and to travel abroad along with your application for adjustment of status.

Please Note: the LIFE Act is not the equivalent of an amnesty; it will not protect you from deportation even if you’re an eligible applicant under the Act. Your unlawful presence will continue to be unlawful until your application for adjustment of status is filed.

Contact Kristy Qiu, Esq., a knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale Immigration Attorney to learn more about acquiring a Green Card Through the Legal Immigration Family Equality Act.


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